Moto Backing Away From Windows Mobile

Earlier this month reports emerged that Motorola (s MOT) would cut as much as 50 percent of its handset division as it slashes the number of phones it sells to a dozen and focuses solely on Google’s (s goog) Android operating system. The decision made us wonder if Microsoft’s (s msft) Windows Mobile OS might be a big loser because of that focus on Android. The Wall Street Journal today reports that Motorola indeed might be saying sayonara to Windows.

Now there are signs Motorola is shifting away from Windows as well. Its recent job cuts included a team of more than 70 employees working on the Windows Mobile platform at its facility in Plantation, Fla. Telecom analyst Ittai Kidron of Oppenheimer & Co. said delays in releasing a new version of the Windows platform may have caused Motorola to alter its plans in the short term.

Chart courtesy of The Wall Street Journal.

Motorola denies it and says they will continue to support Windows Mobile and will have devices out this year. Motorola cut Yvonne Verse, vice president of handled strategic partnerships, business development and intellectual property, and Tracey Koziol, vice president in charge of product development, as part of these cuts. In addition, Motorola has shifted its market focus to the Americas and China, pulling back from Europe, the Middle East and Asia. But the WSJ points out that in Latin America, Motorola is relying on distributors instead.

All these cuts are not going to be enough for Motorola, which is the weakest player in the increasingly Darwinian handset business.